At first I thought to myself “this’ll be fun.”
Once I started the project it was a bit more difficult than I forecasted.
I originally started with 9 YouTube channels but some favorites needed to be included not simply based upon numbers.
For those who are not following on us Facebook or our YouTube channel, you’ll note that we are ramping up our use of Fid-eo to better communicate caged bird care.
Our goal is not to replicate what was being said but to bring more valuable information to the conversation.
I get alerted to every new fid-eo about pet bird care from the list of experts I’m going to be exploring with you shortly.
I’ve curated a list of what I subjectively feel are the 12 top YouTube channels to watch for captive bird care.
Channels are reviewed in alphabetical order.
My goal is to identify these YouTubers for you.
If you’re not familiar with them, I’ll share my thoughts on what they do and what they bring to the table.
The old joke is “because it’s on the Internet it must be true.”
I wish that was the case because unfortunately I see information being disseminated that can be harmful to the bird(s) in your home.
I use the term harmful very specifically.
At Windy City Parrot, we answer dozens of one on one questions about captive bird care sharing the majority of these answers in our Sunday Birdie Brunch email which has links to all the posts on our blog.
If I’m wrong I’m always ready to man up and have done so numerous times.
It’s important to understand the caring for captive birds and the universal knowledge base, required is just now beginning to fully emerge.
There still is doubt and some disorganization in the minds of avian veterinarians on many fronts.
One fact I’ve come to realize is avian veterinarians have never been given classes on nutrition based upon bird food brands.
Thus they tend to have a narrow view when recommending nutritional regimes for your bird.
Another common disconnect I see:
I’ve heard two avian veterinarians say “we’re not sure if dark or light is necessary to reduce prolific egg production”.
And yet I speak to my friend Josee Birmingham who manages HARI with responsibility for hundreds of pet and breeding parrots having a bat phone line to the University of Guelph Ontario veterinary school.
I don’t make things up, I don’t guess.
I am a fact checking hunting dog, which goes beyond “Googling it”.
I go to seminars, club and organizational meetings.
I call veterinarians and the CEO’s of bird food-cage-manufacturers.
Our livelihood hinges upon the accuracy of information we provide to caged bird keepers globally.
If I have a question that perplexes me , I will find a real expert to get the information from like Dr. Lori Hess who’s been an avian veterinarian for 30 years and is currently the spokesperson for Zupreem bird food – as an example.
My point is that I’ve been driving for 50 years and still can’t do a brake job on a car.
Which means just because you have had birds for 50 years, you are not necessarily an expert.
My review of each influencer is based upon what they bring to the table in terms of how much information of value they provide.
Unfortunately we saw lots of bad information which we did not curate.
We eliminated channels that were simply about acquiring new birds, building aviaries and “how cute my birds are”.
Watch any YouTube creator below and you will walk away more empowered about engaging with that 200 bpm (beats per minute) feathered 99 million year old evolutionary dinosaur with wings sitting in your living room.
Here is my designated list of avian influencers on Youtube – in alphabetical order
Editor’s note: All YouTube channel data is current as of 05/08/2018.
Adventures of Roku
51,000 YouTube channel subscribers
Joined Oct 12, 2015 – 15,019,772 views
One of the more interesting comments is “you have to be concerned about Hawks and Falcons – my bird will never fly free” (like that’s something to be proud of).
Fun feathered factoid: A Peregrine falcon can see a “mouse at a mile.”
Not much of a threat to a hawk but a hook bill like the hundreds of feral monk parakeets we have here in Chicago managed to stay out of trouble in spite of the dense population of Peregrine Falcons in the area.
We keep telling you birds are smart but when you drill down some of the things we learn are amazing.
Prey birds in the area of Chicago have learned that monk parakeets are hooked bills and if not killed immediately have the potential to break a hawks leg.
Why run the risk?
Don’t think for a minute these prey birds aren’t constantly calculating the odds of the kill.
Brody Murray (hope I got that right) is companion to Roku, a Blue and Gold macaw.
Roku has had a great deal of flight training and flies daily out-of-doors.
Korra is a Green wing macaw and Pabu is a Major Mitchell cockatoo, a cockatoo species that you don’t see in a lot of homes.
This YouTube channel takes on even larger dimensions because “play dates” are just like with kids – that have feathers.
A single video may include
- Roku – blue & gold macaw (male)
- Bumi – yellow tailed black cockatoo (male)
- Mowgli – yellow tailed black cockatoo (male)
- Thor – sun conure (male)
- Loki – nanday conure (male)
- Emery – black capped lory (female)
- Kai – black lory (male)
- Phoenix – dusky lory (male)
- Meraxes/Maree – moluccan lory
- Oogie – cockatiel (female)
- Flappy – cockatiel (female)
- Pascal – hahns Macaw (male)
(be still my beating heart)
Most of whom are fully flight trained and the ones that are not like the cockatiels will remain caged and just enjoy the day out-of-doors albeit caged.
This is a real fun fid-eo
62,000 YouTube channel subscribers
Joined Apr 25, 2007 – 18,225,490 views
Alen AxP started out covering everything from a Logitech Z-5500 Movin’ stuff to the Sarajevo Spring Music Fest.
As he started to produce budgie videos he also showed an affinity towards aquariums with video titles such as “Maintenance of 201 Shrimp Aquarium”.
Beginning about two years ago he became more “budgie centric”, although it is clear aquariums are still a big part of his life.
His videos appear to be professionally shot with a quality voiceover sound and custom music added to every video.
He covers subjects from “How to Feed Budgies | Choosing the Right Foods”.
to Mirror, good or bad for Budgie/Parakeet?
Alan AxP speaks from a third person point of view with a professional narrative using lots of budgies in the videos never revealing who he actually is.
If I had to select a single video from the hundreds he has produced it would be 3 Ways to Lose Your Parrot’s Trust (with more than 1,000,000 views).
Whether you are into the budgies like us or have a hookbill of any sort in your home, this is a channel to watch for actionable ideas that will help your cage bird best live with you.
I want to say this is a “sleeper” channel but view counts would make that an inaccurate statement.
If you’re into budgies this is a go-to YouTube channel.
I like to remind everyone here that the Windy City Parrot budgie census is currently at six and so we are chafing at the bit to learn everything we can about budgies.
This channel runs the gamut from three-hour budgie sounds for lonely budgies to making a budgie playground.
All fid-eos look professional, well edited with good music in the background.
Unlike other channels, narration is done third person voice over with the interactions of humans and birds a subset of the narrators scripting.
I don’t know who Alen AxP is but he makes good use of many of his subscribers that look like you and me interacting with their budgies.
You’ll see actionable fid-eos like Setting up New Budgie Cage | Vlog #19
and cuteness explode
Budgie sounds | Cute & Fluffy singing
fave fid-eo on Alen AxP’s channel is
How to Gain Your Birds Trust
136,000 YouTube channel subscribers
Joined Mar 23, 2011 – 13,552,185 views
Jessi is an energetic redhead who speaks with her active voice exuding confidence and enthusiasm.
Clearly animals are her passion – I think I heard her say in one fid-eo she cares for 73 animals (at the time).
Jessi does not limit feathered facts just for parrots but birds like Rooks as well as other species as in hedgehogs, guinea pigs, beavers, snakes and wabbits)
One of my favorite fid-eos from her channel.
She has the ability to communicate without always having a bird or birds on her hands on her shoulders and in the background.
When she handles a bird in the fid-eo it’s to make a point about behavior, grooming, nutrition or species interactions.
She (or who ever does it for her) has great editing skills with the camera always pointing to the relevant subject.
Lighting bright and crisp as well as the sound.
9000 YouTube channel subscribers
Joined Nov 12, 2006 – 3,940,571 views
Barbara is in a league of her own with a formal education in animal behavior, she makes her living training zookeepers and veterinarians.
Her bio: In 1982 Barbara Heidenreich secured her first job working with animals in a veterinary hospital.
In 1990 after exploring various animal related professions, Barbara started her career as an animal trainer at a zoological park and has been a professional trainer ever since.
Barbara provides consulting services to zoos, nature centers and other animal facilities (Learn more at (www.BarbarasFFAT.com).
She lectures regularly to the veterinary community and is an adjunct clinical instructor at Texas A & M University, Veterinary Medicine and Biological Sciences.
She has contributed to two veterinary text books. In her career she has trained animals, trained staff, lectured and/or presented shows at over 50 facilities around the world. (See list below) She volunteers her expertise to support conservation projects, The Kakapo Recovery Program in New Zealand and the Bird Endowment. She has a BS in Zoology from the Univ of California at Davis. Read more…..
Many of the people who follow her tend to be true bird enthusiasts or aficionados and our only hope one day is that her knowledge trickles down to some of the people who simply have birds and cages in the home.
She’s a consummate parrot problem solver with lessons not only in behavior but on how to properly medicate parrots be it orally or via injection.
Anyone who knows me knows I am a big fan of keeping birds flighted.
Out-of-doors free flight is even better so I’m selecting this fid-eo where and I quote.
“This was one of our special experiences during our Bird and Small Mammal Training Seminar in The Netherlands.
A great mix of veterinary professionals, zoo professionals, animal rescue professionals and companion animal trainers enjoyed a two seminar of learning about force free animal training and its benefits.
62,000 YouTube channel subscribers.
Joined Jul 28, 2007 – 19,113,835 views
This is a bird related YouTube channel that has no equal.
Dave Womach is a Las Vegas magician (and a former Ringling Bros trainer who worked with the likes of David Copperfield) that uses parrots in his show.
Jamieliegh, his wife knows more about training parrots then most of us have forgotten.
His brother Chet excels in marketing of all things parrot (damn you Chet:-)
The magic (pun intended) that BirdTricks brings to the table is not only parrot training but actionable ideas to make your cage birds environment better.
I’m a birdcage guy and one of my favorite blog post from BirdTricks is Do You Break Bird Cage Wheels Frequently?
I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve shared this tip with people across the globe for the past five years
Stripping away all the fluff in professional showmanship one of my favorite things that these folks do is free flight which takes for lack of a better term a lot of guts.
Most videos are shot on an adhoc basis but being professional entertainers, their message is always clear, and concise and educational.
One of my fid-eo faves on the BirdTricks Youtube channel
Editor’s note: As mentioned earlier we did not take into consideration channel size nor subscriber count.
We reviewed channels with as few as 300 subscribers and more than 90,000.
Our criteria was
- Quality of information
- Professional presentation
- Proper lighting
- Clear consistent sound
- Multi dimensional views
- Logical editing
There are some great YouTube channels on building aviaries and breeding all sorts of bird species.
We did not feel either of those topics belonged on this list.
Every channel we selected focused on the care of captive birds in your home.
Full transparency – we don’t necessarily agree 100% with all of the techniques & procedures presented by these experts but our purpose with this post is to teach not to nitpick.
If you see anything that raises a question, by all means reach out to the Creator and or/me so we can get you the right answer.
Hagen Avicultural Research Institute
300 YouTube channel subscribers
Joined Oct 11, 2012 – 61,555 views
Don’t let those stats fool you into thinking this channel has little value.
The two protagonists in most of the videos, Josee Birmingham and Melanie Allen come off as a bit “dry” in their video series and certainly could use the some birds bouncing around considering they have several hundred parrots just down the hall.
I know this and poke fun at the ladies because we’re friends
We’ve spent time together at seminars and have broken bread at a fine restaurant in the Chicago area.
What’s important to note is that Josee has responsibility for hundreds of pet and breeding parrots at the Hagen Avicultural Research Institute and has been privy to more cutting-edge research about captive birds than many avian diplomat veterinarians.
Speaking of which HARI has three veterinarians on staff (I believe) so questions rarely go unanswered.
Their ultimate end game is to help Mark Hagen one of the three Hagan Brothers now running RC Hagen (which sells pet supplies worldwide in 70 countries), to best tell the story of how they are laser focused on bringing the best nutritional and environmental care for that bird in your home.
During the course of obtaining his Bachelor of Science, Mark Hagen concentrated on nutrition and zoology and attended a semester at the University of California, Davis, taking courses in cage bird medicine, nutrition and avian science.
He has a Masters degree in agriculture from the University of Guelph, specializing in Psittacine Aviculture.
A firm believer in sharing his knowledge and experiences, Mark Hagen, director of HARI has published dozens of research papers relating to the work at HARI, including egg incubation, oil and nutrition, formulated diets, husbandry and sanitation disease control, cage design, ventilation, and pediatric care.
Many of his papers have been presented at most of the avicultural conferences held in the USA, Canada and Australia.
Between the three professionals we are clearly not dealing with people who have been simply interacting with birds for any number of years.
At the end of the day the people at HARI want to ensure that the bird in your home is on the best nutritional program that is available based upon their collective knowledge base.
Because of their influence worldwide you can find many of their videos translated into four languages.
The videos that Josee and Melanie produce provide compelling reasons to feed your captive birds Tropican and Tropimix from the HARI line of avian nutrition products.
Their videos cover not only nutrition but real-time issues like Introducing Parrots to the Travel/Transport Carrier” and “Desensitization Parrots to Nail Grooming”
Of the many videos that they offer this one about “PRIME Vitamins for Birds on Seed Based Diets” helps us understand the need for supplementation to birds on it all seed diet
700 YouTube channel subscribers
Joined Feb 16, 2016 – 107,359 views
Loveyourparrot Education is a relative newcomer to YouTube with videos going back one year (at the original time of this post).
Traci guides us through a plethora of bird care topics ranging from pellet conversion, bird adoption, bathing and even a bird dance party.
We especially love Henry and Axel because they are Senegal’s and we love Senegal’s.
Her style is less voice over and more images of birds interacting within their environments.
She’s got a number of species, as I go through the videos I saw.
- a double yellow headed Amazon
- the two aforementioned Senegals
- a Quaker parrot
- a Catalina macaw
- a sun conure
- a Ruby macaw
- a lineolated parakeet
- a green cheek conure
- a cherry headed conure.
If you read this Traci and I missed a bird let me know, we will gladly add it.
She’s really big into nutrition including super foods and has one of the nicest bird rooms I’ve seen in a long time.
Planned out well in spite of the multiple species, very bright and very clean.
Enjoy the tour
- Marlene Mc’Cohen
- 76,000 YouTube channel subscribers
Joined Sep 28, 2007 – 12,401,168 views
Marlene is a prolific parrot program producer.
(not sure where that came from)
She is a well-known actress in her own right and at the very least produces 2 weekly fid-eos named Parront Tip Tuesday and Story Time Sunday.
Marlene is not shy around the camera and is clearly an acting pro
Set aside some time because her productions tend to be in the 20 to 40 minute range.
She talks a lot about the relationships between her and her parrots and her parrots relationship with family members and friends.
From what I can see she has
- Jersey an Umbrella Cockatoo
- Picasso a Mustache Parakeet
- Vinny a Galah (aka rose breasted) cockatoo
- Rocky a Harlequin Macaw
- Cody the African Grey
- Amazon with a very red face (not a red front amazon)
She doesn’t stick to the typical behavioral or environmental videos producing titles like My Cockatoo, Jersey Goes For A Car Ride And Gets A SURPRISE! STORY TIME
She does cover some of the fundamental basics as an example a videos named 7 Cleaning Hacks For Parrot Owners | WITH FUNNY OUTTAKES COMPILATION
It is apparent that Marlene is a professional in the film industry.
Her lighting, makeup, camera angles, backgrounds and scripting is as good as you will see on YouTube and certainly sets the bar quite high.
(I liked the purple for her and her mom, Marlene did not:-)
Marlene has so many great videos that it’s hard to select one but if I had to this is it.
The bonding between her and her rescue umbrella cockatoo is priceless.
Ladies, if you want your man to take an interest in your birds, this is the YouTube channel they should watch – just sayin’.
Manda and rio
19,000 YouTube channel subscribers
Joined Apr 7, 2014 – 1,549,850 views
Manda and Rio (her green cheek conure) defines cuteness.
Don’t let that deceive you.
Manda takes the care of birds quite seriously and expresses her ideas succinctly behind the camera.
Information Manda provides is invaluable starting with Basic Needs for Every New Owner
Her YouTube videos go back about four years and she has certainly honed her chops behind the camera.
The new video on her YouTube channel homepage
uses dramatic music and sound effects to eerily drive home a point which is “join their adventure to positive parrot ownership”.
Manda covers many important aspects of caged bird keeping covering everything from toys and nail trimming to behavioral techniques of “step up” and “step down”.
Rio the green cheek conure is a very smart bird and can do things like identify colors.
Manda is one of the few YouTube influencers that talk about ‘towel training”
something so important and essential for living a life with birds but so few people pay attention to this very necessary aspect of bird restraint.
Kudos to you Manda.
Manda takes you through routines covering getting ready in the morning to taking a road trip with Rio.
She talks about how to discourage biting, the molt and problems with air fresheners and their negative effects on a bird’s respiratory system.
Her videos are well lit with great musical backgrounds and edited concisely in order to show no more than is necessary for a given video clip or subject.
At some point Tuki a sun conure was introduced to Manda and Rio’s flock which made her videos all that much more enriching to watch.
Rio & Tuki Morning Routine Part 2 | Food prep, Eating, Diet talk
I can relate to that video feeding six budgies and a Senegal parrot every morning.
From the WindyCityParrot.com YouTube channel
The Parakeet Perch
12,000 YouTube channel subscribers
Joined Sep 18, 2013 – 1,593,363 views
Sophia Stevenson who created the The Parakeet Perch brand not only is a YouTube channel creator also blogger so she gets extra points for that.
A big reason we follow her is the Parakeet perch is budgie-centric although recently she has added Mango a sun conure to the mix which kinda sorta parallels our own flock of six budgies and a Senegal parrot.
Sophia covers all the basics from target training, birdcage tours, budgie breeding, keeping cage environments clean and parakeet fighting.
This is a subject that has recently opened our eyes in that we have one male and five female budgies.
Much like any guy, Jam the sole male seems to be the one chirping out orders as he “helicopters” stationary in the middle of the cage.
If you follow the parakeet perch you will learn how to install a nest box, get your budgie into a flight suit and how she introduces fruits and vegetables to parakeets.
Her videos have good background music and occasionally a YouTube logoed hat.
If I had to select a favorite video will probably be Bird training: Target Training.
Although it’s all about Mango her sun conure it’s good to see a bird companion who takes clicker/target stick seriously as a higher form of learning for your pet birds.
“Not clicker training your bird is like not teaching your child to read” mitchr
If you’re into budgies this is another go-to YouTube channel
3,700 YouTube channel subscriber
Joined Jul 8, 2016 – 244,712 views
April Adcock is simply enchanting in front of the camera.
She’s engaging and exudes self confidence, important if you’re trying to educate other humans.
From what I can tell the flock consists of
- an Umbrella cockatoo
- a Black headed caique – Bailey
- a White belly caique – Pacman
- a Yellow naped Amazon
She was involved in helping place an orphaned Senegal due to the death of a family member
She covers a variety of topics like
- Sushi rolls your parrots will love
- Cage Cleaning at Parrot Playhouse
- Cooking for Parrots 101: Festive Stuffed Squash
Here’s a great video on signs of illness in the parrot
Her birds are certainly not lacking for foraging and enrichment.
Everywhere you look, in her bird cages there are toys on top of toys.
There is always something for the birds do and engage with.
When she has birds in the hand or on shoulders, she is talking about those particular birds
You’ll find fun videos of toy forging project
She has a beautiful space in her backyard with protective netting where she can gently spray her birds.
If I had to pick a favorite video it would be Bailey’s Stairs work out which is a great way to exercise your bird.
Stop by the Parrot Playhouse channel for a great overview of caring for multiple species of parrots all under one roof.
91,000 YouTube channel subscribers
Joined Apr 29, 2009 – 42,637,561 views
This channel is the 900 pound parrot of YouTube avian channels.
Millions of people know Michael and his birds
His Senegal Kili appeared in national television commercial for Doritos.
His birds have appeared on the David Letterman show.
He started with a Cape parrot which you don’t see a lot and a Senegal parrot (we have a nine-year-old female Sennie).
Editors note: Cape parrots and Senigal parrots are subspecies of the same family named poicephalus.
From what I can see he has now acquired a green wing macaw as well a, yes, and a second Senegal.
Michael appears around the world.
He travels commercially and pilots his own private aircraft with hi co-pilot Racheal.
There’s a lot of fun time videos on the channel.
The majority of which are hard-core bird training beginning with simple step ups to how to hold to teaching his birds how to recognize colors and how to bowl.
From what I could see all of his birds have been taught flight recall which is very important.
One of my favorite videos is his co-pilot Rachel, teaching a blue and gold macaw flight recall.
You may even remember back in 2014 when Truman the Cape parrot got away was gone for two days but happy ending – Truman was found and reunited with Michael.
So at the end of the day if you want some information about how to train and care for the parrots in your life visit this channel appropriately titled
47,000 YouTube channel subscribers
Joined Jan 14, 2010 – 7,601,667 views
When this channel started out eight years ago there were two parrots involved, the Mexican red headed Amazon name Buddy and the Congo African gray named Smokey.
John’s use of camera angle, lighting, sound and editing is impeccable and I know how time consuming that can be.
John is one of the few You tubers that mentions possible vitamin A deficiency in Amazons and helps them out with offsetting this deficiency by feeding them habanero peppers peppers.
Have not seen any videos with buddy the Amazon for the past few years so I’m not sure what happened but John’s relationship with Smokey Ray is nothing short of remarkable.
He covers everything from cage set up ideas to toys, harness training, nail trimming and showering.
John’s commitment to his birds is epic having an outdoor aviary in his backyard.
If you have an outdoor aviary you’re an advocate of flighted birds and John talks about his flights with Smokey in several videos.
You want to learn how to familiarize your bird with a new play stand, potty trained bird or even what you really need to think about before getting a parrot this is a great YouTube channel to use as a reference especially you’re thinking about getting an African gray.
It was really hard to select my favorite video but I love this one.
It solves many problems and is so easy to execute especially for whiners who say “my bird doesn’t like to new eat anything or to play with“.
How about a pumpkin?
Bonus round – please don’t forget your hosts
3,000 YouTube channel subscribers
Joined May 19, 2006 – 741,901 views
Or videos are about
- What to get
- Why to get it
- Species specific
- How to install it
- What to feed it
- How to clean it
- Where to put it
- How to protect it
- How to light it
Our latest fid-eo
Also published on Medium.